Councillors urged to throw supermarket plans out

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PLANS for an out-of-town Tesco supermarket in Holmfirth are being recommended for refusal by planning chiefs.

The proposal has divided the local community with some in favour of the development claiming it will bring in much needed choice for shoppers while opponents argue it will lead to the demise of independent shops.

Tesco wants permission for a store at the former Midlothian garage site off New Mill Road. Officers are recommending that members of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Planning sub-committee reject the proposals when they meet on Wednesday.

Kirklees Council has received 2,151 letters supporting the application and 1,356 objecting. Those who are in favour say it will bring increased choice for shoppers, it will bring jobs for local people and will bring much needed investment into the area.

Opponents say the area does not need another supermarket and it will lead to a loss of shops which will hit Holmfirth’s ability to attract tourists who come to see where TV’s Last of the Summer Wine was filmed.

Deborah Hayeems, corporate affairs manager at Tesco, has previously said: “We know our proposal is widely supported and that people welcome the plans for 175 local jobs and an appropriately-sized supermarket to reduce the need for residents to travel out of the area to shop.”

A report to members of the committee says: “The positive benefits of a scheme of this type and scale within the Holme Valley are recognised in terms of providing greater consumer choice, potentially better value, and helping to reduce inconvenient and unsustainable journeys for a proportion of existing residents.

“The proposals have been demonstrated to have no significant adverse impacts on existing centres or stores within the catchment area: it is not the principle of development that is objected to per se.

“The key area of concern with this proposal is its location which is significantly outside the designated ‘large local centre’ of Holmfirth and closer, in fact, to the smaller settlements of Wooldale and Thongsbridge. This location, although adjacent to a main road, is unsuitable for a development of this scale, with its associated travel demand and lack of accessibility. “